Saturday, November 2, 2013

Johnny's Projects

Johnny just returned from a week with the California kids, doing projects. He loves helping his kids. The first assignment was fixing the front door so Munazza, with her current arms ailment, could open it. He had that done in no time. Then he trimmed out some windows and the front door, replaced a back door, put up an outdoor light, insulated and dry-walled one section of the garage/shop/exercise room, fixed some wiring, and probably other things I've forgotten. I had asked him to take lots of photos. I meant of the grandkids. Here's his photo of the garage wall project.

One project I didn't know he would be doing was talking to Kestrel's class about our farm. Johnny didn't know he'd be doing it either. But he told me it went very well, in spite of his lack of preparation. The kids asked lots of good questions, especially about "animal poop" so he was able to talk to them about composting. I liked Ava's question best, though, as reported by the teacher...

"We had a special visitor this week, Kestrel's grandfather, Johnny.  He owns, operates and lives on a small farm with his wife.  Johnny spent some time talking with the kids Friday morning about what it's like on a "real" farm, and answering a lot of interesting questions, mostly about animals.  At one point, Johnny explained how his wife gets up early every morning to feed horses, milk goats and muck stalls.  At this explanation, Ava raised her hand and asked, "So what do YOU do?".  We all had a good laugh at that. Johnny defended himself, explaining the division of labor on their farm, but Ava still wasn't too sure... :o) "

Johnny did take some photos of the grandkids. Here the boys are in their Halloween costumes: Kestrel as Superman and Cedrus as Michael Jackson.

Here is the whole family... and friends... on the Goblin Walk.

The boys did their trick or treating on the Goblin Walk with their respective girlfriends. Kestrel is getting kissed by Miss Piggy... again.

 Then Johnny took a whole lot more photos of his projects... but also these two wonderful pictures of the boys practicing their music lessons... Cedrus on the keyboard and Kestrel on guitar... I look forward to hearing them play next time I get down there.

Back in Oregon, Johnny has had plenty of projects, too. In the community service line, he replaced the Grand Ronde Library front doors. What an improvement! From this...

to this...

The most intriguing project he has had lately is salvaging a hand-painted silk wall mural from a house being remodeled. The story behind the mural was that it was a gift from the Japanese consulate to the previous owner of the house for his serving as a judge at the Tokyo Olympics... in 1964. The current owners recognized its value but the design did not fit with their decor and they wanted it removed. They offered it to the director of the Japanese school in Sheridan. She called Johnny.

It was not possible to get the very thin silk and its paper backing unglued from the wallboard behind it so the wall had to be cut out with the hanging... in pieces. Carefully. Here are three of the salvaged pieces.

Although the ultimate destination is the Japanese Charter School in Sheridan, at the moment the pieces are still under cover in Johnny's shop, waiting for other more knowledgeable people to decide on framing, etc.

Another "art" project was hanging friend Monica Setziol-Phillip's spectacular new commissioned wood sculpture and tapestry weaving piece. It will go to someone in southern California. Lucky folks!

Of course, here on the farm I have lots of projects for Johnny, too: repairing, rebuilding, fencing, and on and on. The old barn is not completely dismantled yet, either.

For someone who is "retired", Johnny sure keeps busy. I think he wonders how he ever had time to work.

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